St. Louis, MO – David Freese blasted the go-ahead three-run homer during a four-run fifth inning and the St. Louis Cardinals downed the Pittsburgh Pirates, 10-7, in the opener of a three-game set at Busch Stadium.
Matt Holliday cracked a solo homer among his three hits, Yadier Molina added a pair of hits and scored three times and Rafael Furcal contributed a two-run homer, while Allen Craig added an RBI single for the Cardinals, who took two- of-three from the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend.
Adam Wainwright (1-3) gave up four runs on five hits and one walk while fanning six over seven innings. Jason Motte worked a scoreless ninth to earn his fourth save of the season.
"I thought he did a nice job," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of his starter's effort. "He made some quality pitches when he needed to and his offense picked him up tonight."
Jose Tabata crushed a two-run homer, Pedro Alvarez smacked a two-run home run and added an RBI single, and Garrett Jones finished 1-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored for the Pirates.
Charlie Morton (1-2) was tagged for six runs -- five earned -- on eight hits and two walks while fanning five in 4 1/3 innings.
With the game tied at two, the Cardinals took the lead for good in the fifth. Holliday stroked a one-out single and Carlos Beltran followed with a walk before Freese squared up a fastball from Morton and sent it over the left- center field wall. Craig added an RBI base hit up the middle to make it 6-2.
Holliday belted a slider off Jared Hughes over the wall in left in the sixth to make it 7-2, but the Pirates answered with a pair of runs in the seventh when Alvarez banged a cutter deep into the seats in right to cut the deficit to 7-4. Neil Walker also scored on the blast.
St. Louis added three more runs in the home seventh. Molina began the rally by reaching on an error by Alvarez and Craig followed with a single to left. Both runners executed a double steal and Pirates catcher Rod Barajas' throw to third on the play wound up in left field, allowing Molina to score. After pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter grounded out, Furcal belted a slider into the right field seats off Pittsburgh reliever Tony Watson to make it 10-4.
The Bucs added three in the eighth. Tabata began with a two-out walk and Andrew McCutchen followed with a walk. Tabata moved to third after the free pass on a wild pitch by Fernando Salas.
Jones then brought home both runners with a single into right field and Alvarez knocked in Jones two batters later with a base hit to right to account for the final margin.
"I do like the fact that we were finding our offense a little bit," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "But again, we are always going to talk about the complete package. We weren't complete off the mound and we weren't complete on defense."
Earlier, the Cards manufactured a run in their first at-bat to take the early lead when Furcal slapped a double down the right field line to start things and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jon Jay. Holliday then reached on an error, which allowed Furcal to cross the plate.
Pittsburgh took the lead in the third when Barajas doubled to center to start the frame and Tabata banged a hanging curveball from Wainwright over the left- field wall to make it a 2-1 game.
The Cardinals tied it at two in the fourth with a little help from some less- than-stellar Pittsburgh defense.
Molina started the inning with a single into right field and stole second. After Craig and Skip Schumaker struck out, Wainwright hit a ground ball to Clint Barmes at shortstop, but the ball kicked off the heel of his glove and into center field, allowing Molina to score.
Jose Tabata has a .340 career batting average against the Cardinals...Craig was activated from the disabled list earlier on Tuesday. He began the season on the DL while recovering from offseason surgery to repair a fractured right kneecap...Also on Tuesday, the Cardinals announced they will retire the uniform No. 10 of former manager Tony La Russa prior to a Friday, May 11 game against the Atlanta Braves...Pittsburgh committed four errors.